2005-08-04 / Editorial Page

August 4, 1958:

August 4, 1958: Billboard “Hot 100” chart introduced - Billboard magazine introduced its “Hot 100” chart, a list of the 100 best-selling pop singles in the country. This list replaced multiple charts the magazine had previously published, including Best Sellers in Stores and Most Played in Juke Boxes. The first song to top the Hot 100 list was “Poor Little Fool” by Ricky Nelson.

August 5, 1953: From Here to Eternity opens - From Here to Eternity opens, starring Deborah Kerr and Burt Lancaster. The film also featured Frank Sinatra in his comeback role after a series of professional downturns.

Set in Hawaii just before the attack on Pearl Harbor, the movie used actual combat footage in its portrayal of the assault and won eight Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, and Best Supporting Actor (for Sinatra).

August 6, 1959: Corvair Makes its Debut - The Chevrolet Corporation registered the Corvair name for its new rear-engine compact car on this day in 1959. Corvairs became quite controversial—people either loved them or hated them.

August 7, 1959: U.S. satellite photographs earth - From the Atlantic Missile Range in Cape Canaveral, Florida, the U.S. unmanned spacecraft Explorer 6 is launched into an orbit around the earth. The spacecraft, commonly known as the “Paddlewheel” satellite, featured a photocell scanner that transmitted a crude picture of the earth’s surface and cloud cover from a distance of 17,000 miles. The photo, received in Hawaii, took nearly 40 minutes to transmit.

August 8, 1974: Nixon resigns In an evening televised address, President Richard M. Nixon announces his intention to become the first president in American history to resign. With impeachment proceedings underway against him for his involvement in the Watergate affair, Nixon was finally bowing to pressure from the public and Congress to leave the White House.

August 9, 1968: Lowest U.S. death toll in almost a year - Ninetysix Americans are reported killed during the Vietnam War for the previous week. This was the lowest weekly U.S. death toll since August 12, 1967.

August 10, 1949: Truman signs National Security Bill - President Harry S. Truman signs the National Security Bill, which establishes the Department of Defense. As the Cold War heated up, the Department of Defense became the cornerstone of America’s military effort to contain the expansion of communism.

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